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State parks to honor national “Every Kid in a Park” passes
Start Date: 4/21/2016
Event Description:
Every fourth-grader in Indiana can visit both a National Park and an Indiana State Park for free this year.

“Every Kid in a Park” is an initiative established by the federal government and supported by a variety of partners. It allows fourth-graders to download a pass from for free admission for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide – including national parks, national forests and marine sanctuaries – for a full year.

Current fourth-graders can download and use their fourth-grade passes through Aug. 31, 2016, and current third-graders can get their fourth-grade passes starting Sept. 1, 2016.

Indiana State Parks will honor these fourth-grade passes in 2016 as a way to celebrate their centennial this year, which coincides with the National Park Service Centennial.

“America is blessed with unrivaled public lands and waters, and through Every Kid in a Park, we’re inviting every fourth-grader and their families to enjoy our nation’s great outdoors,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Through this program, every fourth-grader – including those in Indiana – will have an opportunity to nurture their curiosity and wonder, developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife in their backyards and beyond.”

Most Indiana State Parks charge admission per vehicle, meaning an Every Kid in a Park pass will admit everyone who is in the same vehicle as the fourth-grader. The fourth-grader must be in the vehicle for free admission to apply. For those who enter on bicycle, the pass admits all children in the group age 15 and younger, and up to three visitors age 16 or older.

At Falls of the Ohio State Park, the pass can be applied to the parking fee only, not for admission to the interpretive center.

The pass is for fourth-graders or home-school equivalents. Students can’t transfer the pass to anyone else. The pass can be used for multiple visits, and if it is lost, another one can be printed. The pass does not apply to additional fee-based activities available inside a state park, such as camping, pool entry and horseback riding.

Visitors must have a printed version of the pass to show at the state park gatehouse. Electronic versions on a smartphone or other device will not be accepted.

To clarify, an “America the Beautiful” pass, also called The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, does not provide free admission to Indiana State Parks, reservoirs or state forest recreation areas.

Admission to Indiana state sites without a fourth-grader in the vehicle who has downloaded a free Every Kid in a Park pass is $7/car for in-state vehicles and $9/car for out-of-state vehicles at most State properties. An Indiana State Park annual pass can be purchased for $50 ($25 for Golden Hoosier, age 65 and older) at property gates and offices or at Detailed fee information for Indiana DNR properties is at

Hoosiers can choose from 32 properties statewide operated by Indiana State Parks. See a list of properties at Passes will also be accepted at Indiana’s state forest recreation areas.

Kids and families are encouraged to share their photos and experiences in parks on social media using the hashtag #FindYourPark and, in Indiana add #INStateParks100. Photos can be posted to the Indiana State Parks Facebook page at

“We have an important 100th birthday this year, and so does the National Park Service,” said Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks. “This is a great way for us to honor the three NPS sites here in Indiana and make it easy for fourth-graders and their families to learn about Indiana’s natural and cultural resources.”

In Indiana, the National Park Service operates Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter, the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, and the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes.

More information is at

To view all DNR news releases, please see
Contact Information:
Name: Ginger Murphy
Phone: (317) 232-4143
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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